Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” music video from her debut album in 1985 has become a pop culture icon. The video was directed by Brian Grant and choreographed by Arlene Phillips, showcasing Whitney’s incredible vocal range and energetic dance moves. But the “How Will I Know” music video is not just a catchy tune and cool dance moves, there’s a lot of cultural significance to unpack too!
The Impact of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” on Pop Music
As Whitney Houston’s first major hit, “How Will I Know” helped establish her as a pop superstar. The upbeat rhythm of the track showcased her incredible voice and elicited a joyous feeling in listeners. Her music video, accompanied by a strong choreography, launched her to the top of the charts and set a standard for future pop icons.
At the time of its release, the “How Will I Know” music video helped to push boundaries in the pop music industry. The bright colors, energetic dance moves and focus on Whitney’s vocal range, and hair all showed a different and refreshing side of pop culture compared to the dark and edgier styles of the time.
The Meaning Behind “How Will I Know”
The lyrics to “How Will I Know” address a common theme in pop music – love, and the perspective of an individual uncertain in their pursuit of it. However, the catchy pop tune’s lyrics force us to confront our own feelings: “How will I know if he really loves me?” – a question that resonates with all listeners.
The video is set in an amusement park and is punctuated by moments of vibrance and happiness – the same feelings that one would experience on a happy, carefree day out with their significant other. This optimistic outlook on love and the journey to it was instrumental in inspiring younger individuals towards finding happiness through relationships. It inspired the belief that here is something beautiful and fulfilling waiting on the other side of vulnerability and uncertainty.
The Choreography and Fashion of “How Will I Know”
The video is remembered not just for Whitney Houston’s vocals, but also for a vibrant and engaging dance. The choreography by Arlene Phillips is a perfect match to the upbeat nature of the song and expresses the feeling of freedom that a romantic relationship can provide. The colorful outfits and jewelry help convey the festive mood that is captured in the music video. The mix of different outfits and styles makes the video visually engaging and highlights Whitney’s incredible Afro-centric hairstyles.
The Legacy of “How Will I Know”
The release of “How Will I Know” music video’s had a huge impact on pop culture at the time and has continued to remain culturally relevant in the 21st century. The music video and song have been sampled, covered, and referenced by a myriad of artists. From Katy Perry, to Beyonce, to Mariah Carey, the song remains a beloved classic.
The video’s legacy extends beyond the music world as it became an iconic representation of an era shaped by optimism and hope. That hope, of finding love and happiness with someone special is the driving message behind “How Will I Know” and still resonates with fans all around the world.
The Final Verdict
The success of “How Will I Know” music video was a testament to Whitney Houston’s talent and was instrumental in establishing her as a pop icon. But the video’s significance extends beyond Houston’s career and represents a moment of cultural significance in the history of pop music. As one of the defining moments not only of 80s pop culture, but of the overall early youth culture, “How Will I Know” continues to be an iconic and relevant representation of that era.
So, turn up the volume, blast the tunes and dance to Whitney’s “How Will I Know” as this video will always be remembered as an evergreen anthem of an optimistic and carefree era.